Food & Drink

The Best Ice Cream Shops in Dallas

Summer means ice cream.

When it comes to beating the heat in Texas, few things make cooling off more enjoyable than something icy, refreshing, and sweet -- but margaritas aren’t the only solution. Ice cream does the trick, too, and we have some amazing spots around town for getting your fix of all things creamy, sugary, and loaded with nostalgia. Here are top-notch spots to feed your cravings, whether it’s for enjoying in person with social distancing or getting it delivered right to your front door.

Cow Tipping Creamery

Multiple locations
It’s all about soft serve at this Austin import, but the 33 unique toppings and sauces (most homemade) are where customers can let their culinary creativity shine. Brown butter Ritz cracker crumb, Cookie Butter hard shell, rum-soaked caramel sauce, mini funnel cakes, and peanut butter blondie brownies are among the choices for building multi-layered sundaes called stackers. Chocolate and vanilla ice cream are always available, but a bi-weekly option allows the makers to go crazy with flavors such as Fruity Pebbles, roasted banana, and Dr Pepper.
How to order: Call your nearest location, pickup in person, or order delivery from. Hours and days open vary by location.

Sweet Firefly

Richardson
The Facebook page for this local favorite announces that they’ve turned COVID-19 lemons into lemon ice box pie ice cream, and that’s such a great perspective. We imagine it’s hard to work around ice cream day in and day out without always looking for the positive, and you’ll find plenty of silver linings in the freezer case here. Order from the new walk-up window and try one of their all-time favorite handcrafted flavors (sea salt caramel, coffee toffee, Beltline Berry) by the scoop or pint, or featured in an individual ice cream sandwich or a party-size ice cream cake.
How to order: Call 972-635-5635, pickup in person from a new walk-up window between 1-10pm everyday except Monday, or order delivery from Grubhub, Postmates, and Seamless.

Pokey O’s

University Park
They don’t make their own ice cream here, but Texas favorite Bluebell somehow tastes even better when sandwiched between two freshly baked cookies (coconut chocolate chip, maple pecan and cappuccino chocolate chunk among the 13 options). You can even choose one of more than a dozen toppings, including Fruit Loops, Oreos, and butter brickle to be rolled in and even sandwich them between two completely different cookies. For delivery, order up a pint of ice cream and cookies for DIY ice cream sammie making in the comfort of your own kitchen.
How to order: Call 214-987-1200 to order, pickup in person between noon and 9pm daily, or order delivery from DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats, Seamless, and Favor.

Wild About Harry’s

Knox/Henderson
The family-recipe frozen custard comes in dozens of rotating flavors, including refreshing lemon, German chocolate cake, Dreamsicle, and Texas peanut butter, which make for a great dessert after finishing off one of their signature hot dogs. Create a new favorite flavor combination for your scoop or sundae with more than two dozen toppings, or try a new flavor swirled into a delicious milkshake.
How to order: Call 214-520-3113, pickup in person between 11am-10pm daily, or order delivery from Seamless, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream

Plano
Chances are, you’ve had Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream even if you’ve never been to his Plano storefront. That’s because this go-to brand can be found at hundreds of local restaurants on their dessert menus. It’s definitely worth a trip to the actual shop, however, where the scoops are massive and the flavors range from plain ol’ vanilla to mind-blowing options such as Hog Wild: cinnamon ice cream loaded with caramel and, wait for it, bacon. By the cone, cup, sundae, or shake (or large pre-packed to-go sizes), Henry’s ice cream will leave a smile -- and possibly some stray rainbow sprinkles -- all over your face.
How to order: Call 972-943-3639 or order in person 11am-9:30pm. Sunday to Thursday and 11am-10pm Friday and Saturday.

Bisous Bisous Patisserie

Uptown
Known year-round as one of Dallas’ go-to spots for macarons, this Uptown bakery turns into a mini ice cream shop during the summer months. Where other places give you almost too many choices of flavors, Bisous Bisous makes the decisions much easier with pints of vanilla shortbread cookie, chocolate caramel cookie, and strawberry cheesecake. They’re decadent on their own, but if you’d like to take things up several notches, grab a freezer-to-oven croissant waffle ice cream sandwich kit, which includes a pint of ice cream, eight pre-pressed croissant waffles, and toppings. Dipping a macaron into a pint isn’t off-limits, either.
How to order: Call 214-613-3570 for curbside pickup, order in person (one customer in store at a time) Monday through Saturday, 8am-5pm and Sunday from 10am-3pm.

Hypnotic Emporium

East Dallas
Hypnotic Donuts, one of the city’s first shops to serve wacky donut flavors, spawned this next-door sibling that’s all about ice cream (and a little bit about donuts if you opt for a scoop smooshed between a freshly baked glazed). The ice cream comes from the incredible Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Denton (worth a visit if you’re up north sometime soon), and it’s always exciting to see what sinful flavors are in stock at Emporium, whether it’s Texas honey whiskey, campfire s’mores, or the lavender-and-honey-spiked Bee’s Nee’s.
How to order: Call 214-354-3414, order in person 1-9pm daily except Mondays, or order delivery from DoorDash or Postmates.

Howdy Homemade Ice Cream

Highland Park
Before we even get into the ice cream, we tip our paper soda-jerk hats to this feel-good ice cream joint because they provide employment to people with special needs. With about three dozen (and counting) flavors in their frozen arsenal, Howdy Homemade can scratch your ice cream itch with out-of-this-world options such as Dr Pepper chocolate chip, strawberry covered chocolate, avocado, Hot Tamales candy, and huckleberry lemonade sorbet. And if you have a special occasion coming up, consider ordering a custom cake with nearly endless possible flavor combos.
How to order: Call 469-930-8494, order in person noon-9pm Sunday to Thursday and noon-10pm Friday and Saturday, or order delivery from Favor.

Milk • Cream

Lowest Greenville
Their milk-and-cream buns bring all the boys to the yard. And the girls. And everyone, really. The donut-like bun stuffed full of ice cream is their signature offering, available in glazed or plain. Order it with ice cream only or add a free topping from options including cookies, cereal, and nuts. The simple menu also offers ice cream by the scoop in a cup or waffle cone, with or without a topping. The menu selection isn't huge, which makes it easier to focus on the ice cream itself, as it should be.
How to order: Call 214-377-7821, order in person noon-10pm Sunday to Thursday and noon-midnight Friday and Saturday, or order delivery from Seamless or Grubhub.

Baldo’s Ice Cream & Coffee

University Park
This elegant shop across from SMU does two things really well (spoiler alert: they’re both in the shop’s name). Ice cream comes in vintage flavors like the usual chocolate, vanilla, and mint chip, but also more inventive options including frosted flakes, white chocolate pretzel, and vegan/dairy-free blue coconut. Pair a scoop with a latte, traditional macchiato, or French press and get a double buzz from sugar and caffeine -- not a bad way to jumpstart the day.
How to order: Call 972-913-4001, order in person noon-10pm Sunday, 11am-10pm Monday to Thursday and 11am-11pm Friday and Saturday, or order delivery from Seamless, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub.

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Steven Lindsey is a Thrillist contributor.